"Imagination is like a wild horse that has been led into the corral, waiting to be directed. Of course, you can open the gates & let it go, but why not give both of you the gifts of self-discipline?"....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Visualization & Imagery Workshop
In hypnosis we alter our internal world. By utilizing our imagination in special ways we stir feelings and alter behavior and attitudes. When you change how you think, visualize and imagine things to be, your feelings and behaviors begin to change. You not only see what is possible, but the subconscious mind will send up other suggestions for your approval, perhaps things you never even considered that will take you even closer to your goal, or enhance it in some way. The mind works backwards. When it sees the ideal goal picture clearly in great definition, it makes the action plan. Changes just seem to occur, as if the goal took on it’s own life. Things that were difficult in the past often become simple, and one is left wondering what the commotion was all about.
Our subconscious mind stores all memories, anything and everything we have experienced through our entire life. This includes memories of each and very sense, including taste, touch, sight, hearing and emotion. It’s all there filed in an orderly fashion. This means that you have a wealth of resources on which to draw as you focus on your future. Most of us never utilize these assets and continue to see everything as a struggle. If one continues to see things in this way, everything will be a struggle for one always gets what one asks for in the mind’s eye.
As you learn to relax, to let go, and ask for the appropriate resources from the inner bank vault, you can change with a new level of comfort. When you are tense the subconscious mind cannot get your attention, and so you cannot share the bounty. As you learn to relax during actual stress, the stressors will work as catalysts, opening the door of the subconscious mind, and freeing you to work with this powerful part of yourself.
Working with subconscious mind programs will make your management of disorderly eating and addictions much easier. You already know about containments, and since you are more skilled than you were earlier on in this book, this is a good moment to build a few.
Simply relax deeply, tilt your eyes up about twenty degrees. Place a mind movie, perhaps seeing yourself in your containment area and placing an appropriate label on a facet of your disorderly eating. Your inner librarian will take care of the rest. Take an extra moment to study the contents. What does your disorder or addiction look like? Notice some of the VCR programs that you play in relation to this issue. Are they worn out from over-playing? Have you already made some corrections and celebrated them? Always be sure to celebrate both big and small accomplishments. Remember small ones tend to pile up and become very big ones!!
Have a look at your emotional children, noticing they crayons that they are applying to this special containment. Remember, your subconscious mind does not judge. What you play is what you get. This will be subconsciously enhanced for you. When working with your subconscious mind in this way, you can make changes right in the moment if you choose. If there are any emotional visitors or crayons you would like to remove from this containment, please go ahead and do so. Just image yourself completing the action. Your librarian will take care of the rest. You may wonder what you are actually doing. The right brain is very creative and sees this as a re-programming. Whenever the subconscious mind finds your actions in real life being incongruent with subconscious mind programming, the inner programming will win out. You will instantaneously be pulled into heightened awareness and find yourself going towards the behaviors connected to the inner program.
The art of working with mind images is often called imagery or visualization. My word for this is imaginology. I define this as the study of your own imagination or mind creativity. This speaks to the special work you are doing here.
In the practice of imaginology, you see with your mind’s eye. This is very different than seeing with normal sight. Sometimes people report that they can’t see images and become discouraged in working hypnotically. This is simply a matter of communication and understanding of how the tools work and what to expect. Each and every person reading my words is working with imagery.
Whenever you notice an idea or a thought flowing through your mind, this is imagery. Whenever you hear someone telling a story and you form pictures in your mind about it, this is imagery. The reason one has less problems with those examples is that there is little to no efforting. When someone tells you a story they don’t say, “now I want you to see images in your mind as I tell you what happened to me on the way to work.” Images just naturally come to mind. Your job here is to take the efforting out of the process of imagery and imaginology, allowing free flow. It helps to practice, and so in this chapter you will be presented with some skill building exercises. There is no right or wrong way to do this work. It is simply the doing that is important. Your work is to get out of your own way, allowing your subconscious mind to simply take the ball and run with it.
Let’s practice. As your eyes read these words, if you choose, you can easily see your bedroom in your mind. You don’t have to elicit the relaxation response to do that, do you? The image just came forward. Now notice you can see yourself going to that bed and turning back the covers. You can also “mind experience” this and sense your body walking towards your bed and feeling the covers as you turn them back. In another instant you can be in your car, driving down any street. Go ahead and practice seeing yourself driving, and then actually driving. Feel the steering wheel, the seat beneath you, and touch the rear view mirror.
You can then transfer to your office and look for some files, or see yourself doing that. Those are two different kinds of imaginolgy. Next, be in the supermarket choosing all your favorite foods. Feel them as you take them off the shelves. Notice they all feel differently. Now practice seeing yourself participating in an entire supermarket excursion in a few seconds. Don’t you wish it could be like that in real life?
Let’s practice some regression. Take yourself back into your past, replaying anything you choose. You don’t have to go back very far to find your past. It is just on the other side of “now.” Of course, you can go way back if you choose, and in a later chapter you will be working on your time line, going back as well as going forward.
A frequent question is “what is the difference between meditation and visualization?” Meditation clears and concentrates the mind, while visualization or imagery puts an image in it. Both are great change agents and complement each other. Visualization or imaginology refers to our inner movies or VCR tapes. These are at the heart of our mind bio-computer. The human brain programs and self-programs through its images. All skills, and all achievements are acquired through this image-making process. Interactive Awareness and Interactive Self-Hypnosis are high-level consciousness tools that allow stress release, emotional management, subconscious mind re-editing and programming right in the moment.
Building these skills can assist us at all levels of our training and performance whether it be managing sugar addiction or winning at tennis.. Many people feel they are making up the images, rather than seeing them and this is perfectly fine. The mind accepts what is presented to it as truth, so as long as the images are healthy and positive, go with your own creative thoughts.
Here is another skill builder that will enhance your toolbox. Take any simple object, a pen, pencil, cup or similar item will do. Look directly at it until you feel you are quite familiar with it. Close your eyes and imagine you are still looking at it. Open your eyes and look at the object again, and compare it with your mind image. Now close your eyes and do the same. Next, move the object out from where you are observing it, and scan it with your eyes as if it were an external image. Often people expect the inner image to be exactly like the outer image, and judge themselves as being a "poor imager." This is just the ego getting in the way, and the emotional visitors coloring the visualization experience for you. Release them, and go back to your practice knowing that however you image or visualize is absolutely correct. There is no right or wrong. The more you practice, the more understanding you will have of the whole experience and the more real your images will become.
FROM THE AUTHOR
At the bottom of Imaginology - Part 1, you will find the links to the complimentary mp3 download for this part of the Online Workshop.